Glossary

Many of the medical terms and abbreviations used can leave many patients bewildered.
In an attempt to bring some clarity to any confusion, this list is being compiled.
Please let us know of any terms you think should be included.


Adenocarcinoma = the type of cancer that Barrett's can progress to.

APC = Argon Plasma Coagulation - using high energy electricity to ablate Barrett's.

BO / BE = Barrett's (O)esophagus

Cardia – the top junction of the stomach the oesophagus leads into.

CELLO (Columnar Epithelium Lined Lower Oesophagus) Another term for Barrett's Oesophagus.

CLE = Columnar Lined Epithelium (as above) 

columnar epithelium Named because of the cells' appearance, this describes Barrett's metaplasia.

Cricopharyngeus – the muscle of the upper oesophageal sphincter.

CR-D = Complete remission of Dysplasia

CR-E  = Complete remission of (O)Esophagitis

CR-IM = Complete remission of Intestinal Metaplasia.

Duodenum – the first part of the intestines leading from the stomach.

Dysplasia - next possible stage of progression of cellular changes past metaplasia - identified as Low Grade or High Grade.

ECG = ElectroCardioGram. To test cause of chest pains isn't your heart.

EE  = Erosive (O)Esophagitis

EFA = Epithelial Radio Frequency Ablation (RFA)

EMR = Endoscopic Mucosal Resection. Removal of bits of the wall of the oesophagus with a snare down an endoscope.

Endoscope – the long flexible tube with a camera on the end used to look inside the body. When looking down the oesophagus a gastroscope is used. When examining the intestines a colonoscope or sigmoidoscope will be used.

EoE = Eosinophilic (O)Esophagitis. - Not acid reflux related but often mistaken for it.

EOR / EER Extra-(O)esophageal reflux when refluxate travels up the full length of the oesophagus and can enter the respiratory system.

Epithelium Tissue forming the surface layer

ESD = Endoscopic Submucosal Dissection - removal of deeper layers of the mucosa than EMR.

EUS = Endoscopic UltraSound

FD = Functional Dyspepsia - Sensation of peristalsis

FH = Function Heartburn - Reflux symptoms without acid

Fundoplication - surgery to reduce reflux

Fundus – the top “sack” part of the stomach.

gastric metaplasia / cardial metaplasia Mutated cells resembling those found in the stomach

goblet cells These produce mucus in the digestive tract (and elsewhere in the body). If found in oesophageal tissue, they usually indicate intestinal metaplasia.

GOFV / GEFV = Gastro-(O)esophageal Flap Valve (Lower Oesophageal Sphincter)

GOJ = Gastroesophageal Junction. Where the oesophagus meets the stomach.

GORD / GERD = Gastro-(O)esophageal Reflux Disorder/Disease. Persistent acid reflux.

H2 blocker / H2RA = Histamine H2 Receptor Antagonist. - Acid suppressant e.g. ranitidine

HALO Term previously used for Radio Frequency Ablation though it has been trademarked by a different medical company for a different procedure and should no longer be used. RFA shoukd now be used instead.

HGD = High Grade Dysplasia

HH = Hiatus Hernia

Hiatus Hernia / Hiatal Hernia – part of the stomach pulled up into the chest cavity through the hole in the diaphragm (hiatus) the oesophagus passes through.

H-Pylori = Helicobactor Pylori - bacterium frequently found in the stomach than can cause acid reflux problems.

HRGL / HR-QoL = Health Related Quality of Life

Hypochlorhydria - Low stomach acid (possibly induced by PPIs)

IM / Intestinal Metaplasia Mutated cells resembling those found in the intestines

IND = Indefinite for Dysplasia

LARS = Laparoscopic Anti Reflux Surgery (ie fundoplication)

LGD = Low Grade Dysplasia

LOS / LES = Lower (O)esophageal Sphincter. (Also known as the cardiac sphincter or gastroesophageal sphincter.) The muscles that act as a valve between the oesophagus and the stomach.

LNF = Laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication - anti-reflux operation performed by keyhole surgery where the fundus of the stomach is wrapped around the oesophagus.

LPR = LarygoPharyngeal Reflux. (Also known as silent reflux.) Reflux breaching the upper oesophageal sphincter.

LSBE = Long Segment Barrett's Esophagus (>=3cm)

Metaplasia - the changed form of the cells lining the oesophagus in "normal" Barrett's.

Mucosa – the surface lining of interior organs that produces mucus to keep it moist.

NDBE / NDBO = Non Dysplastic Barrett's (O)esophagus (ie "normal" or metaplastic Barett's)

OAC / EAC (O)esophageal AdenoCarcinoma. - Cancer of the oesophagus.

Oesophagus – the food tube that leads from the back of the throat through the chest cavity to the stomach.

OGD / EGD = (O)esophago-Gastro-Duodenoscopy. The normal surveillance scoping given to Barrett's patients, examining the oesophagus, stomach and duodenum.

PDT = Photo Dynamic Therapy - ablation treatment for Barrett's using a photo-sensitising drug and a powerful light source within the oesophagus

PPI = Proton Pump Inhibitor. - Acid suppressant. e.g. omeparazole

Prague criteria relates to recording the size of a Barrett's lesion using two figures the depth of a continuous circumferential band (C) and maximum length of any irregularities or tongues (M) so C2M3 would refer to a 2cm band of Barrett's running around the oesophagus with irregularities stretching to 3cm.

pyloric sphincter The “valve” between the stomach and the duodenum.

RFA = Radio Frequency Ablation. Burning away areas of Barrett's Oesophagus using the Barrx device (sometimes referred to as “HALO”).

Rx (℞ ) = prescription

Seattle Protocol relates to how biopsy samples should be taken: 4 quadrantically over each centimetre length of the suspected area.

SERD (Supra-Esophageal Reflux Disease) = LPR or Extra Oesophageal Reflux.

Squamous The normal, soft pink tissue lining a healthy oesophagus.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) = another form of cancer.

SSBE = Short Segment Barrett's Esophagus (ie <3cm)

TLSR = Transient Lower Sphincter Relaxation. This is the normal mecahnism permitting people to burp.

TNM staging - Applied to cancer,  the T number (upto 4) represents the size of the tumour; the N number (upto 3) indicates lymph nodes affected; the M number (0 or 1) indicates whether it has metastacised (spread to other parts of the body).

UOS / UES = Upper (O)esophageal Sphincter. (Also called the pharyngoesophageal sphincter or the inferior pharyngeal sphincter.) Muscle at the upper end of the oesophagus to permit swallowing and prevent laryngopharyngeal reflux. Produces the burping sound when air passes back through it.

Z-line The join between the oesophagus and the cardia of the stomach.